Lives at stake if rural treatment centre can't relocate: union
REGINA -- The union representing workers at an Indian Head treatment facility says lives could be lost as the centre tries to find a new home.
“So there is no treatments happening, which there is no ability for people to access this treatment,” said CUPE president Judy Henley.
Pine Lodge found itself in need of an alternate location after a December fire extensively damaged its Indian Head facility. It hoped to relocate to a former Christian facility in the Resort Village of Fort San but the council has delayed a decision for at least a month pending further consideration.
“We have to know exactly what they are going to do and how they are going to present it, not only for council but that information will be presented on to ratepayers as well,” Fort San Mayor Steve Helfrick said on Feb. 16.
The union pointed to an estimated 377 drug overdose deaths in Saskatchewan last year. It said Fort San made sense because current staff could easily commute there from Indian Head.
“Addiction is an illness and they don’t have the ability to access what they need to access. We have limited spaces and closing this whole facility and not opening soon is a problem,” said Henley.
The majority of the 23 union members working at Pine Lodge have just received layoff notices. The union said its members want to work but more importantly, there are people needing treatment.